The Chair

Tonight, Narra asked to be rocked to sleep in the rocking chair..

It has been ages since we’ve done this. Our regular bedtime routine has been me sidelying and breastfeeding her to sleep, almost every night, with a phone in my hand.

.

But tonight, I decided that I needed to be PRESENT. I needed to be all there.

.

I left my phone downstairs and made the conscious decision to BE ALL THERE.

.

Just like the good old days of rocking to sleep every night, I put on the “Bedtime Lullabye” CD. We must’ve listened to it 20 gazillion times. I set my Boppy nursing pillow on my lap, Narra happily and EAGERLY hopped on it waiting for her nightcap of breastmilk, or what she lovingly calls her “manos”.

.

She latched on and away we rocked. I was instantly taken back to the many nights we spent in that chair. Nights, days, weeks, hours and hours. My bottom knew the perfect position, the best tilt, the smoothest ride to get a colicky, refluxy, developmental-leap, wonder-week, very VOCAL baby to calm down. I remember telling myself anything I could to get through those moments. That I wouldn’t be in that chair forever, that what felt like torture at the time, wouldn’t last.

.

But I looked down tonight and realized that my baby was now a toddler. Her legs hung over the arms of the rocking chair like they never had before. She was growing quickly. She is grown.

.

And suddenly, the chair I had always wanted to be out of, became the chair I never wanted to leave.

.

Our bond was BUILT in that chair. The breastmilk, the tears, the laughs, the giggles and coos. The smiles and frowns, the ups and the downs. It all happened HERE.

.

As toddler Narra’s eyes slowly closed and the last track of our bedtime routine CD played it’s final line, I knew I could probably start moving her to her bed and make my way back to my phone.

.

But instead, I sat. I sat and stared. I stared and LOVED.

.

It’s almost like she KNEW what WE needed. To fall asleep together in the place we first fell in love.

.

Where did you first fall in love with your little? Go back there. It’s time to fall in love all over again. πŸ’œ

.

.

.

.

πŸ’Œcorinneahansen@gmail.com

Chocolate-holic

I LOVE chocolate. Like so much. I don’t think I ever truly understood the POWER it had over me until I became a mom. 

.

Oh wait. That’s a lie. I know EVERY MONTH what it does for me. πŸ˜‚

.

Yes, I am a regular menstruating woman who enjoys a good square of dark chocolate. There are health benefits, you know. Benefits that I couldn’t really tell you right now because I’m too busy admiring the chocolate deliciousness I made for my local challenge sisters I am seeing tomorrow! 😍

.

I’ve made a Black Bean Brownie Cake!!! And thanks to the curb-craving powers of Shakeology, I won’t be eating any until tomorrow while I’m with my ladies. πŸ˜‰ We have a play date planned with our kids. I will be meeting some of them for the first time and I couldn’t be happier!

.

Our community of empowered women is GROWING! And we are happy to welcome more. But in the meantime, even if you aren’t joining our meet-up tomorrow, please enjoy this recipe! 

.

Black Bean Brownie Cake
1 1/2 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup quick oats 
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup maple syrup or honey
1/4 cups melted coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Blend all ingredients together, except chocolate chips, in blender until smooth and well combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350F preheated oven for 18 minutes. Allow to cool (or not) before serving. 

.

Enjoy!It’s a TREAT yellow for those doing the 21 Day Fix. Life is all about balance with healthy eats and TREATS like this one!

.

Want to know more about how to be supported in this lifestyle? Give me a shout! πŸ’œ I’m here and ready to help!

.

πŸ’Œ corinneahansen@gmail.com

Yellow is for Hello.

I was online earlier today looking for a yellow bench to sit on, you know, those yellow benches around the city that were installed to promote mental health awareness. πŸ’› But I realized I don’t need a yellow bench to snap a picture and share from. I can do it right here. Right now.
.

May is Mental Health awareness month and in honour of that, you may be seeing yellow signs around the city reminding you that mental health matters. Because it does.

.

As most of you know, when Narra was 2 months old, I had my very first full-on panic attack. I was so debilitated with anxiety and fear that I was dying that I hardly know how I was able to call 911 to come help me with Narra who was screaming wildly in her crib. I couldn’t hold her. I couldn’t touch her. All I could think about was how I could hurt her. And even scarier, how I could hurt myself.

.

I didn’t want ANYONE to know. I loved Narra so much but who in there right mind would allow a mother with those thoughts to keep her baby? So I hid it. I hid it until I could no more. Until it came out in daily anxiety attacks, weekly panic attacks and resulted in me not being able to eat or sleep for days three days straight.

.

After my visit to the hospital, after being reassured that no one would take my baby, I agreed to take medication. I’m glad I did. But the guilt remained.

.

The guilt that I just couldn’t hack it as a mom. I knew in my heart of hearts that I was meant for this. I knew in my soul, and that from a very young age, I would be a mom. It was my calling.

.

So I lived with this guilt for months after my medication kicked in. Although medicine helped IMMENSELY in getting my thoughts and body well enough to function so that I could finally eat, sleep and take care of myself and then our newborn daughter, it wasn’t enough. In the words of my psychiatrist, “Medication is not the end-all, be-all of mental health. You need something MORE to help it along.”

.

Enter SELF-CARE into my life. I knew nothing about it other than the fact that I had to take care of myself. That I needed Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep, Time for Myself and Support. But I laughed, and then I was annoyed. Because how in God’s name was I supposed to fit all that in AND do my wife, mother, special education assistant, friend, daughter and ME duties. How would I fit it all in?

.

I knew I needed help. So I reached out. I hated asking for help. I thought it made me look weak. Out of desperation, and against all preconceived ideas and misjudgements of “health shakes” and “Beach bodies”, I jumped in to getting better. I jumped in to an online accountability group. I just knew I had to get better. I knew I didn’t want to have to increase my medication I was taking and risk complications from upping my dose.

.

What I learned and came away with from my first group was beyond anything I ever imagined from an at-home program. I think I lost maybe 2lbs my first challenge, but that didn’t matter to me. What mattered was the fact that I felt STRONG. I was happier than I had ever been in months. I made new friends that I never thought I could make this late into adulthood. I was full of energy thanks to the proper nutrition I was getting and best of all, I could take care of myself and my family again.


.

The weekly panic attacks? Gone. Daily anxiety attacks? They moved on. My intrusive thoughts that I thought would plague me forever? I’ve learned how to manage them and keep them at bay. I know now, there is nothing I can’t do.

.

Since my first group, I have lost a total of 15lbs, been able to get my blood sugars into normal typical levels, avoided future hospital stays, and managed my postpartum anxiety and depression. I did it. I went from surviving to thriving. All in the short span of a month.

.

Because of the level of this inner and outer transformation, I KNEW I had to share this with others. I knew that couldn’t stay silent about my mental health any longer, nor could I stay silent about how I OVERCAME it all. This is why I tell my story.

.

Today, I fight stigma with stigma. I fight it through my writing on topics others would rather not talk about like intrusive thoughts and spirals of depression. I fight it through posting pictures of my fitness journey that others might rather not see, like me in my underwear PROUDLY showing off my c-section scar. I fight the stigma against mental health by continuing to talk about it on a daily basis because the more we talk, the more “normal” it will be. And the more “normal” it is, new moms like me wouldn’t have to think they are less of a person for getting that help. The more “normal” it is, more individuals (women and men) won’t be afraid of taking that medication to help with those intrusive thoughts. 


Because if I can help just ONE person like me. One person who is ready to finally get that help they need to care for themselves and make their mental health something THEY can manage, and isn’t managing them, the fight is worth it.

.

I am worth it. You are worth it.

.

Need help starting with self-care? I’d love to help. 

.

Corinneahansen@gmail.com

.

Don’t put off taking care of YOU. You matter too much. 

.

Your mental health MATTERS.

I Forgive


“Every day I move toward forgiveness.”.

I have been racking my brain all day on how to express the gratitude I have for today’s meditation. I know it needs to be shared so I will let it flow freely from my finger tips and just write it down already.

.

I am on Day 20 of 21 of Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s Free Meditation Challenge and today’s centering thought and affirmations really hit me. I listened to it this morning, heart happy and then sad, and then happy because I know the Universe sent me that message JUST when I needed it.

.

No matter who you are, you have been wronged before. It’s not a matter of maybes or ifs. Everyone has been wronged. Those friendships, relationships, trials and tribulations. Life is FULL of them. One cannot be spared a life of heartache. It is just the nature of growing and learning. 

.

Some have been wronged more than others. I am among those few.

.

There have been more than a couple of things that have happened in my life that I look back on and say “I wish that never happened.”

.

And although I do believe that every obstacle we have faced in our lives bring us valuable lessons, there are some obstacles that I just KNOW I could’ve learned THAT lesson from in another way.

.

But then today’s meditation stops me from this dangerous cycle of returning to the past.

.

“Forgiveness isn’t condoning a behaviour or forgetting it ever happened. It is you giving yourself PERMISSION to let go of the past and ACCEPT that what was done has been done.”

.

Forgiveness isn’t about the other person. It is for YOU. It is you allowing yourself to MOVE ON and RELEASE yourself from what has happened and look for ways to bring LIGHT and LOVE to others.

.

When you hold forgiveness back from a person, you are not gaining power but rather spending valuable energy. You end up being poisoned by hate. I know because I was there for a VERY long time.

.

I am tired of living in the past and wasting energy hating those who have wronged me. I am ready to bleed the poison to let it not pass on to the things and people that matter to me most.


.

So today, I choose love instead.

.

I choose self-care, self-love and self-respect.

.

Today, I choose to FORGIVE.

.

We all have this power to choose love or hate. What will you choose?

Nap time 😴 

“You get OUT what you put IN.”.


As I lay down in our nap time bed, with a worn-out, overtired, now passed-out toddler with her arm over my belly, I am forced to acknowledge that I may not have handled that morning as well as I intended to.

.

I feel the familiar feeling of unworthiness creep into my thoughts and feel them. Ugh. Why?

.

I have learned, from the personal development our company holds in high regard and through my therapy, to experience ALL my feelings. Feel the feels. And TRULY feel them. Good and bad. So I know that the good feelings are ones I WANT and can have again, and the bad ones are unwanted but also WELCOME because they make the good feelings so much sweeter.

.

I have been through them before and survived. I can do it again.

.

I think back to this morning and this week. Have I truly given out the energy into the world I have wished to received?

.

Truthfully, I check myself and realize that I haven’t. I thought I was, but that just isn’t true.

.

I had enjoyed myself so much over the break, spending time with my loved ones, feeling energetic and healthy, waking up when I wanted instead of when I HAD TO.

.

So the mere thought of returning to work had my anxiety levels up in arms. I blocked myself from receiving LOVE, and instead I chose to live in FEAR.

.

No wonder I was hit with anxiety this week and couldn’t bring myself to leave the house yesterday morning. No wonder Narra had a hard time transitioning to her nap today, while I slowly became more impatient as the cries went on and on. She has been feeding off my unbalanced energy.

.

What had changed from Spring Break? The answer: Nothing really. Except for the way I PERCEIVED my life.

.

My family is still here. I still get to spend time with them Morning and evening (and all evening because we co-sleep). I can still feel the energy and health I felt while away. Consistent workouts and Shakeology will help you with that. I can still wake-up when I want to. I am the one setting those alarms. I CHOOSE to wake up when I do because I need to be ready to help teach students who otherwise couldn’t learn without the skills I bring to the job.

.

I make these choices. My life is on my terms.

.

When Narra wakes up from her nap today, I choose to do a reset.

.

I choose to learn in LOVE instead of FEAR. I choose to unblock myself and welcome the infinite abundance that the universe has in store for me. No more anxiety around work or transitions. I CHOOSE everything I do. I take RESPONSIBILITY for making my goals happen.

.

It is NO ONE’S job but MY OWN to make sh!t happen. 

.

And it all starts by UNBLOCKING yourself with self-care and WELCOMING the powerful energy connecting you to what is already YOURS. 

.

Your health. Your financial freedom. Your LOVE. Your LIFE. 

.

https://www.facebook.com/events/146006022587660/?ti=icl

Mean Girls and Babywearing


I love babywearing. Carrying my daughter close to my heart, wearing her on my front. She has gotten pretty big. She is a toddler now. And I’ve had some concerned comments from friends and family asking why we haven’t transitioned to back carries or like using the stroller. My reasons:.

1. She is light.

2. I am stronger than I have ever been in my life (thank you daily workouts)!

3. Back carries mean I miss out on valuable lessons and conversation with my strong little lady. Conversations like this one…

.

On one of our walks along a busy road in our city, we passed by a school on what looked like some free time they were having outside before school ended for the day.

.

A group of 4 girls were sitting on the top of a hill, beside the school building, overlooking the road we walked along. They had to be about 11 or 12 years old.

.

Narra quickly pointed them out even though we were about 40 feet away. 

.

“Girls! Look at the big girls, mommy!”

.

“Yes! Look at them having fun!” I smiled at Narra. She loves noticing older kids. She has been watching them run, jump and play since her neck could support her baby head and follow along with their movement. 

.

As we walked a couple more steps down the sidewalk, the other side of the building came into view and what I saw there made my heart sink.

.

Another girl, same age, sitting alone. Looking sad. Right away I knew what was going on there. This girl wasn’t part of the group. And I could tell she wanted to be.

.

I have been blessed with a daughter with empathy skills from the get-go. I think it was at 9 months, we were at the playground and she pointed out a boy who was crying and said, “Boy sad,” and looked up at me with sad puppy dog eyes. I had to give HER a hug to comfort her.

.

Before she could talk, she would crawl over to me in the thick of my postpartum, when I would be having a bad day, and sit in my lap and hug me.

.

She has seen me sob and cry. And I’m not ashamed to say she has been one of the “first responders” on the scene of my tears, as much as I have been on hers. She has seen me fall, but she has also seen me rise again.

.

I stopped on the sidewalk. We stopped. I wished I could tell the girl that things would be okay. That those girls probably weren’t her people, that girls can be cruel sometimes. But I couldn’t.

.

So instead of helping with the girl, I stood there with my 2 year old daughter and asked her what the girl sitting alone might be feeling.

.

“She’s sad.”

.

“Yes. She seems sad. I think she might want to play with her friends. But her friends are up there without her.”

.

In true Narra fashion, she buried her face into my chest and let out a whimper. She could feel the girl’s pain. I could feel it, too. I have been that girl BY HERSELF. And one day, I fear Narra might be that girl, too.

.

But I knew something good could come out of this. A lesson could come out of this.

.

I gave Narra a hug and a kiss. We looked at each other and felt happy we were together. And then I told her if she ever saw someone alone who might want to play, she can be a good friend and ask her. That’s how people can be good friends. It will make them feel happy! It might even make you feel happy, too!

.

Narra gave me a kiss and I told her I loved her. And that the girl’s mommy loved her too.

.

My daughter is two. But it is NEVER too early to teach compassion and empathy. Did she understand all of that? Probably not. But I keep thinking, I don’t always understand things the first time I hear about them. And to me, it is important Narra knows how to be a good person to others not just for them, but for HERSELF. So I will keep teaching her and asking her questions until it makes sense. 

.

I am so grateful that I have surrounded myself with women who are just like me. Who see the girls around the corner and don’t leave them there by themselves. I am grateful for my team of ladies, my accountability group challenge sisters who I know, are on top of that hill, laughing and playing but also open and inviting of others to come JOIN US.

.

So if you’re the girl by herself, please reach out. You just need to find your people. We can be your people. I can be your people.

Recipes!!!

I posted a picture last week on my Facebook of some wicked awesome coconut Curry Beef I made in the Instant Pot.

.

I love my Instant Pot. It has really changed the way I cook food. Like, hello? How else can you cook a whole FROZEN chicken in less than a hour?

.

Being a working mom, having meals I can set and forget and have ready in minutes is soooo important to me.

.

I’ll share more IP love with you all next time, but for now, I want to be good with my word and share my recipe with you!

.

ENJOY!